Liveblogging Carter Maslan’s talk at BIA Kelsey’s ILM 2010:
The long tail of local is extremely long
The launch of Places search increased the clicks to third party sites by 400%
Places is trying to increase the “surface area” of local information
There is a local dimension to almost everything (critics, tribes, events, news, credentials, specialties, etc.)
A role of a directory is to provide info like biz credentials that GOOG will not provide (but what about when GOOG scrapes it?)
It’s critical to be precise about the exact location of a business particularly for mobile.
Even our best sources of information are only 85% accurate
We all have a vested interest to get 10s of millions of businesses online and represented accurately
Doing our best to make self-service simple, but there’s definitely a class of user that wants to talk two-way (meaning SMBs who are having issues with their Place Page rankings)
3 Main dimensions to
Relevance – how does it relate to the query
Prominence – how important does the web think this business is
Distance – duh
New Place Search UI increased the # of click targets by 400% (so maybe his statement about traffic was incorrect)
Carter is basically saying GOOG wants to work with the industry and the Places update did not send more traffic to GOOG properties at the expense of third party sites.
Tracking numbers can cause confusion for GOOG. It doesn’t necessarily affect rankings, but it might have a “secondary or tertiary” effect.